US election result day meme refers to 9/11 and 11/9 as dates vying for America’s worst.

Maybe the reversal is symbolically important after all, as a moment in which voters turned against the last 15 years of global war on terror, Project for the New American Century machinations, reckless profiteering succeeded by festering resentment over the financial iniquity of so-called austerity… a numerological inversion denoting a calling forth of a new era and mode of being, signalling a genuine inauguration of an epoch of hope.

Or… Washington Post journo on the radio citing the end of the world as we know it, at least the current paradigm (prompting thoughts of comments attributed to Gandhi regarding Western civilisation…)

Maybe we’re locked into a historical repetition cycle after all, a Reichstag fire away from rapid descent into Atwood-Orwellian dystopia. 

Maybe… maybe it’ll just be more of the same shite.

Hey ho rock n roll, deliver me from nowhere.

Right, I’m going to do it.

Short break there while our singer had a holiday. 

Back to it this evening, in the practice studio, which is working well for us soundwise. They have a good drum kit (the marque evades me, but I have the drummer’s assurances), a chunky vocal rig. I am playing through a Laney Linebacker head and Marshall cabinet, which combi offers a good deal of trebly reverberous hoof, with a lovely plummy sound in the middle also. Delighted when the singer called it plummy tonight, as I had been thinking that precise word. Syncety sync!

 We have no bassist, but this is prompting some positive rearrangements. We probably do need to get “something else” in: there are definite gaps in the sound, but with the singer getting room to manoeuvre our melodies have improved, and she’s started to pick out bass and other fill patterns on the piano in the room.

Tonight we rattled out the bones of a new song, a bit country-ish, some sort of First Aid Kit, Dr Hook and Dolly Parton jam, with a good deal of that trebly reverb of which I spake. 

Speaking of, this side of awesome came to my attention in the last week:

Great, though, isn’t it? So if we could siphon off just a soupçon of this soulful slink… Only, everything we’re doing has to clock in under three minutes, or we cut something out. That’s probably our most enjoyable bit at rehearsals right now. 

Treating the songs mean, keepin’ ’em keen.

Further to a previous Rock Notes post, it occurred to me that the correct frame of reference for the slightly aggrieved London hardcase calling for Thompson was, of course, Spiny Norman:

DINSDALE!

DINSDALE!

It then occurred further that the Netflix pilot would only succeed with the casting of Emma Thompson:

emma-thompson

So yeah, Emma Thompson plays Emma Thomsen, a successful Scandinavian crime novelist, who spends the series battling the attentions of a giant animated hedgehog, Spiny Normal (n.b. hilarious British comedy reference/anxiety of inference gag). Spiny Normal is trying to get her to front a crime procedural he has written about hedgehogs. He thinks she needs a comeback vehicle, which of course she does not, being the successful Scandinavian crime novelist rather than the British actress.

Thomsen has to resolve this mysterious collision of worlds, aided/hindered by her patronus, Thomson the cat. Thomson knows how to contact everyone in the multiverse but is perpetually popping off for a pee.

thomson-local

Thomson would probably have to be voiced by John Thomson (Jazz Club).

…I have actually got up to about Episode 4, if anyone’s interested in bunging me a few quid.

The last jam slewed into a slough of despond somewhat. This week, the three of us (vocals, drums and guitar) regrouped and set about reconstruction. The main song we did has a nifty melody and words, and we managed a harmony. It was a unanimously agreed Good Sesh.

The best thing about that song is that the version on my phone makes one of the drum patterns sound like someone saying “Thompson!”, in a kind of disgruntled Cockney voice. Weird, but unmistakable. Sort of Guy Richie character? He’s clearly aggrieved at Thompson, or at least trying desperately to get his attention.

 We may develop this germ of a notion into an eight-part series for Netflix. Meanwhile, the Lloyd-Webber inspired Sweeney musical continues to develop well, with “Falling down the apples” now set to close the first act.

This weekend in the garden, we got at the berryfull but overgrown elder.As the photo shows, the apples are dropping too.

 Elderberries are very potent vitamin C containers, have a lot of vitamin A, and some research suggests they have strong antiviral properties.

We make juice. The berry recipe:

  • Lots of elderberries
  • Cloves
  • Star anise
  • Cinnamon

Cover with water, boil and reduce to a thickish liquor.

Strain, add sugar/honey to taste…  Simmer again. 

We’re probably going to keep this one liquid (in stoppered bottles), but quite like the idea of procuring some gelatine (beef/veggie), and jelly baby moulds, to make winter sweeties with the next batch.

The elder bush is in the chicken run, and they greatly enjoyed the offcuts.

This article at Observer on much of modern writing being steaming cow chips struck a couple of jarring chords.

I teach English, and am acutely conscious of the “five paragraph”, teaching to the exam, model of writing training the article talks about. It’s so pervasive though. And there’s such little time – “pig weighing” – and such high expectations of “getting the right grades”…  The utopian dream of being an inspirational teacher bucking the system is being constantly disturbed by the realpolitik of Target Grades, MiDyIS data (however that’s capitalised) and other five year plan impossibilities.

As the article suggests, few people devote time to reading any more. My students are all dedicated, but there are so many other things demanding their attention, formulae to be learned. While I love and enthuse about “English” – words and that – it most often feels like it’s a struggle against people who can do spreadsheets.